I was reading a blog post over at #Adulting and I thought to myself, “Self, why have you not shown support for mental health awareness on your blog if it directly relates to you?

My story in a nutshell

Well I know why, because I’ve been scared to make the connection. To have a stigma placed on me before someone talked to me face to face. I also didn’t want people to view this as a place of negativity. But I really don’t care who knows anymore. I trust you not to make judgments based on my illness, and if you do then it’s your loss.

I suffer from major (clinical) depression and anxiety. I spent years with a psychologist and psychiatrist all the while my family continue to ask if it was really even necessary because “It’s all just in your head”. I don’t fault my family; they just didn’t understand what was happening because they didn’t know how to fix it. Coming from a family in poverty you might have also learned that if you aren’t dying you don’t need it so this played a role in the monthly questions of “Are you sure you need this?” Ultimately, I gave in and decided I would use the skills I learned and deal with my illness without medication. I’ve always just been my own advocate. In the end I was grateful, while some days are much more difficult than others, the perk of not being on medication allows me to feel more. Though contrary to what most people may believe, I rarely feel fully happy. But I strive for that feeling. To be perfectly honest that was part of the reason this blog even exists. My constant search for the beauty in life, things that make you stare in awe, things that make you feel.

While I can go on and on about my story I thought this was a good endpoint. Also, I do not recommend this path for everyone, in fact I don’t even think this is a likely path that should be taken. Please don’t take my experience as your answer. If you feel you are suffering please reach out to a doctor. If you are feeling suicidal PLEASE reach out to a suicide line or online suicide prevention chat!

The statistics 

Because these are quite long visual images you’ll want to click the link to view the very informative infographs. I promise they aren’t long reads just lengthy graphic.

American mental health
Poverty & mental health info graph
Identifying Anxiety and who it affects
Identifying Depression and who it affects

How you can get started in learning more about mental health

The anxiety and depression association of America has a nice list of online resources.

For books I would suggest this book (Talking to Depression: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed), while this is a simplification, it sheds light for those who come in contact with those who have depression.